Monday, December 15, 2008

I Smile Whenever They Look My Way

My father told me as a teenager that, one way or another, it was my responsibility to learn something in each and every sacrament meeting. I have taken that admonition very seriously over the years, but with a slight twist to help make it happen.

I listen carefully and intently to the first couple of minutes of every single adult talk. If I am not getting fed by the speaker, I let my mind wander and pray that the Holy Ghost will feed me instead. This approach rarely has failed me.

I approach youth talks differently. I pay attention to the youth speakers for their entire talks. I smile whenever they look my way. No matter what is being said, I do my best to do whatever I can to help inexperienced, scared young men and young women feel like what they are saying is important - and that, by extension, they are important. I have worked too long with teenagers to give them anything less than that.

1 comment:

Ardis said...

Someone in our ward -- not a teen, but still quite a young man -- mentioned in his testimony earlier this month how frightened he had been to give a talk a while back, except that whenever he dared look at the congregation, there was one woman smiling at him. I knew who he meant before he ever said Sister Anderson's name. If you went to Central Casting and asked for "white-haired, sweet grandmother," they would send Sister Anderson and her smile! All the Papa D's and Sister Andersons out there are lifelines for speakers who would rather face flamethrowers than pulpit microphones.